The Class 10 board exams of West Bengal board begin on February 12 with the authorities revealing that the number of examinees have dipped compared to that in 2018, which they attributed to dipping birth rates.
The exams popularly known as Madhyamik conducted by West Bengal Board of Secondary Education will continue till February 22.
The total number of examinees has dipped by 18,408 this year which works out to 1.7% of the last year’s candidates.
According to WBBSE president, Kalyanmoy Ganguly, the total number of Madhyamik aspirants this year is 10,64,980 out of which 6,03,311 (56.65%) are girls and 4,61,669 (43.35%) are boys.
In the Madhyamik exams held last year, the total number of candidates stood at 10,83,388 out of which 6,06,373 (55.97%) were girls and 4,77,015 (44.3%) were boys.
The board boss also explained the dip in the total number of candidates by the fact that more candidates are passing the current exams leaving fewer candidates to write the exam again the next year.
“The enrolments have gone down a bit in Class 5 since the birth rates have dipped. Health department officers have also informed me about the lower birth rates,” Ganguly claimed.
He also said that in order to facilitate checking of answer scripts, the number of examiners has been raised from 50,755 to 51,246 and that of head examiners from 1,025 to 1,537.
The board president also said this year they have decided to change the norms of opening question papers. “This year the invigilator will open the sealed question paper packets in front of the candidates in the examination hall and then distribute the same among the candidates,” Ganguly said.
Officers from the education department said the decision has been taken following the incident last year when the headmaster of Subhasnagar High School in Jalpaiguri district of north Bengal was charged with opening question paper packets 35 minutes before the scheduled time.
Restrictions have been imposed on invigilators carrying cellphones to the exam halls. They have to deposit their phones to the venue-in-charge (who will be a government officer) at least 30 minutes before the commencement of the exam.
The phones will be returned to them after the exam is over. Restrictions have been imposed on students wearing smart watches in the exam hall.
*Female candidates – 603,311 (2019) ---------- 606,373 (2018)
*Male candidates – 461,669 (2019)------------------477,015 (2018)
*Total candidates – 10,64,980 (2019)-----------------10,83,388 (2018)
*10.30 am: Question papers will reach exam centres
*11.35 am : Sealed packets containing question papers will reach exam halls. Each venue will have a venue in-charge, a venue supervisor and additional venue supervisor
*11.45 am: Students will get question papers and answer scripts
*12 noon: Students can start writing
*3pm: Students have to stop writing
*Number of examiners: 51,246
Number of head examiners: 1,537